MuckRock Release Notes: Review incoming Assignment submissions

MuckRock Release Notes: Review incoming Assignment submissions

Join us tonight at Code for Boston!

Edited by JPat Brown

If you’re up and running with an Assignments, it’s now easier than ever to review the results and flag interesting items as they come in. If you’re not using Assignments, there’s never been a better time to give them a try!

For previous site improvements, check out all of MuckRock’s release notes, and if you’d like to get a list of site improvements every Tuesday - along with ways to help contribute to the site’s development yourself - subscribe to our developer newsletter here.

What’s new on MuckRock

Easier review of completed Assignments

The biggest feature this week is a new view that makes it way easier to search through, sort, and review submissions through our Assignments crowdsourcing tool. Now you can view entries right on the Assignment page, quickly filter for key terms, flag certain submissions so that you can review them later, and generally do quick analysis of the latest entries.

Review Assignment submissions with a new overview tool

If you need to do more in-depth analysis, you can still download all the data into CSV format. We’ve been using the Assignments tool internally a lot — it’s been super helpful for everything from gathering new registration on our Slack page, helping us organize and track our weekly standup meetings, and crowdsource analysis of large data sets. The tool is a premium feature available to Pro and Organization users, but if you’re interested and would like to hear if it could be a good fit for one of your upcoming projects, get in touch.

Quicker agency review

With the rollout of our new request composer, we’ve seen a big shift in users filing more requests with more agencies than ever. It’s great to see sunshine going in more places! To share a sense of the scale, here are some graphs showing the uptick in usage since the start of the year:

Number of requests submitted per week since start of year

Number of new agencies submitted to MuckRock database since start of the year

To keep on top of the influx, we’ve continued to improve our internal tools for managing new agencies. You should not see any changes except that new agencies should get researched and approved faster, with your requests continuing on their way.

Come hack on MuckRock

We have a growing group of volunteer hackers helping to make MuckRock better every day. We want to make it easier to contribute, so we’re launching a new project and weekly newsletter, “Release Notes.” Register to get a summary of site updates each week, a list of issues you can help with, and details about our Code for Boston meetups.

Plus, if you subscribe to the weekly newsletter, we’ll include exclusive data sets, FOIA-related scripts, and other transparency hacker tidbits exclusively for subscribers. Subscribe to to the newsletter at the top or bottom of this page.

If you want to contribute better FOIA tools for thousands of requesters, there’s a number of ways to help. If you find a bug you can email us directly or open an issue on GitHub.

If you do the latter, please search open issues first to make sure it hasn’t already been reported. If it has been reported previously, please leave an additional comment letting us know it’s an issue for you, particularly if you can provide more details about when it crops up or what you think is causing the problem.

For those who want to contribute design, code, or otherwise more directly to the site, in addition to the new newsletter, we have a developer channel on the MuckRock Slack. You can also join us at Code for Boston’s weekly hack nights, which take place Tuesday evenings in Kendall Square. We might not make it to every one of them, so if you want to meet up there it’s a good idea to check in on Slack first or check the newsletter. We will be at tonight’s meetup.

Image via Wikimedia Commons